The JRPG is a time-tested genre that spans back to the early days of gaming consoles. Some of the oldest franchises that are still popular today are JRPGs, like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Megami Tensei. These are games with large parties of characters, incredible stories, and finely tuned (typically turn-based) gameplay.

However, with how busy people are these days, it’s hard to find time to sit down and play a JRPG on the big screen. Fortunately, the Switch just so happens to be home to some of the greatest Japanese role-playing games of all time. If someone is looking for the best JRPGs on Nintendo Switch, Metacritic can help to make that next game purchase.

To keep things simple, any game created by a Japanese developer that is classified as an “RPG” by Metacritic will be included. Consequently, Fire Emblem and Disgaea will not be included.

Updated June 3, 2023 by Mark Sammut: The best Switch JRPGs are also among the console’s greatest overall games, and the genre has produced enough spectacular titles to keep fans busy for years on end.



44 SaGa: Scarlet Grace – Ambitions – 79

SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions

Release Date

December 2, 2019



Originally a PS Vita exclusive released solely in Japan, SaGa: Scarlet Grace eventually made its way to Western countries and a plethora of other platforms. For the uninitiated, Square Enix’s SaGa has been around since the late 1980s, and the franchise has a reputation for taking risks by constantly shaking up its gameplay. Despite producing a few very good titles, the series never really come close to replicating the success of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest; nevertheless, Scarlet Grace is a worthy addition to any Switch JRPG library.

RELATED: JRPGs That Encourage Multiple Playthroughs

Narratively, the game has an interesting backstory and follows a nonlinear structure designed around branching paths. As such, Scarlet Grace is quite replayable, although that would not mean much if the combat was not also great. The turn-based system emphasizes strategic planning since the player’s party members share a finite pool of action points, a mechanic that rewards forward-thinking plays rather than just spamming each character’s strongest attacks.

43 Final Fantasy 8 Remastered – 80

Squall in Final Fantasy 8

When picking the best Final Fantasy of all time, convincing arguments can be presented for any mainline entry released between 1994 and 2006. However, Final Fantasy 8 tends to be overshadowed by its two immediate predecessors and successors. Even though its reputation has improved over the years, the game is still polarizing, mainly due to the way it handles progression.

Outside of maybe Final Fantasy 13, FF8 has probably the most divisive mechanics in the franchise, and most people seem to either love or hate the Junction system. The game’s implementation of Magic can also be frustrating. Even if these elements do not hit home with a player, they can still look forward to a great and ambitious story featuring a fairly complex protagonist.

42 Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate – 80

Monster Hunter Chaotic Gore Magala official render from Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

Monster Hunter Rise‘s existence might put off people from trying Generations Ultimate, a rerelease of a game that originally debuted in 2015. Why bother with the old version when a newer model not only exists but is generally regarded as fantastic? The thing is, despite belonging to the same franchise and hitting many of the same ideas, Rise and Generations Ultimate are fairly different experiences.

The former follows in Monster Hunter World‘s footsteps by prioritizing accessibility, to the point that it is overall the easiest entry in the series. Conversely, Generations Ultimate drops players into the deep end with very little guidance, and that is not a criticism. The game is also absolutely packed with content since it contains nearly 100 monsters.

41 Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! – 80

pokemon Let's Go, Eevee

Pokemon has had a rough time adapting to full 3D, although that has not discouraged Game Freak from producing a lot of titles for the Nintendo Switch. Fans are spoiled for choice, and Let’s Go, Eevee! and Pikachu! tend to be overlooked since they were the franchise’s earliest projects to debut on the console. Remakes of the Kanto era releases, these games reduce the focus on random battles with wild Pokemon, opting to incorporate a catching system similar to Pokemon Go!

RELATED: Pokemon Let’s Go: Where To Find Mr. Mime & Other Uncommon Pokemon

Let’s Go, Eevee! is by no means a masterpiece, but it takes players on a fun nostalgic trip through memory lane. Visually, these titles are arguably the best-looking Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch, even if they are not particularly ambitious.

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! has a 79 on Metacritic.

40 Sakuna: Of Rice And Ruin – 80

Sakuna Of Rice And Ruin switch combat

Edelweiss’ Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a strange beast. The action RPG mixes farming elements with dungeon crawling, with the former focusing exclusively on rice. These two components of the package have wildly different gameplay styles and rhythms, but they are both polished and entertaining.

In the 2.5D dungeons, players engage monsters in flashy and fast-paced combat while also collecting resources. Even though these missions can get repetitive after a while, the core systems are solid. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin‘s farming mechanics are also surprisingly deep and fun, as they essentially boil down to minigames.

39 Paper Mario: The Origami King – 80

 Paper Mario: The Origami King Water Vellumental

Despite its classification as an RPG on Metacritic, Paper Mario: The Origami King should be approached as an adventure rather than a role-playing game. Nintendo’s franchise has largely left behind its RPG roots, and while The Origami King does have a battle system, the game treats combat as a minor part of the package.

Depending on somebody’s expectations, this 2020 Switch exclusive can be disappointing. Still, The Origami King has plenty of positives in its favor. Visually, the game is gorgeous and whimsical. Although the plot is nothing to write home about, the story’s writing is generally great and frequently hilarious.

38 Pokemon Sword & Shield – 80

A Gyarados following a player in Pokemon Sword & Shield

Release Date

November 15, 2019



Amazon Listing Page

Pokemon Sword

Pokemon Sword & Shield saw Game Freak’s hugely successful franchise migrate to a home console for a proper mainline entry, something that has been a long time coming. The Generation 8 games are full 3D adventures that incorporate a couple of fresh ideas, particularly the addition of Wild Areas that can be used to catch roaming Pokemon. Otherwise, the campaign is not significantly different from the handheld RPGs, although it is a bit more streamlined.

RELATED: JRPGs That Define The Genre (& Aren’t Final Fantasy Games)

Sword & Shield are not generally regarded as the best entries in the series, but they represented the start of a new era for Pokemon. Some concepts present in these games were expanded upon in Arceus, and that is likely to be also the case in the upcoming Scarlet & Violet.

37 Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom – Prince’s Edition – 80

Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition switch

Ni no Kuni 2 is quite a departure from its predecessor, offering a different battle system and a plot with a slightly more mature tone. After finding himself in a magical world, Roland winds up helping a young king, Evan, escape following a successful coup. Left with nowhere to go, the two form a partnership as they travel across the land in search of allies who can help Evan regain his throne.

RELATED: Awesome Side Quests Hidden In Ni No Kuni 2 – Prince’s Edition

Ni no Kuni 2 is one of the most beautiful JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch, boasting stunning environments and well-crafted character designs. Although a bit too easy, the hack and slash combat is snappy and enjoyable, while the storytelling is pretty good for the most part.

36 Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist Of The Mysterious Dream – 80

atelier sophie 2

The latest entry in Gust’s alchemy-driven series is arguably the most accessible for people who are familiar with traditional JRPGs. Atelier Sophie 2 retains the franchise’s focus on gathering materials to create items through alchemy, a system that is still as fun and deep as in previous entries.

Narratively, this sequel picks up the pace a bit quicker than most of the other releases in the franchise, and the writing is generally strong throughout. Even the turn-based combat system has been improved upon, both in terms of presentation and mechanics.

35 Persona 3 Portable – 81

paulownia mall persona 3 portable

In January 2023, Atlus ported Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden onto numerous consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. While its score is relatively low compared to its sequels, P3P is still highly-regarded in the turn-based JRPG sphere, and the game is considered to be among the genre’s greatest releases of the PS2 and PSP eras.

That said, P3P very much looks like a mid-2000s title, which includes dungeon-crawling segments that are grind-heavy and repetitive. However, in relation to its narrative and social sim element, Atlus’s project is just as captivating as ever.

34 The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel 4 – 81

trails of cold steel 4

Nihon Falcom’s Trails franchise has been a reliable source for turn-based JRPG goodness for nearly two decades. While some might argue the series peaked with the Trains in the Sky trilogy, the Trails of Cold Steel subseries is still consistently great, producing four long chapters in an epic war saga.

Trails of Cold Steel 4should only be purchased if someone has experienced the previous games or, at least, knows their stories. A direct continuation of its predecessor, the 2021 entry builds upon the relationships and political intrigue that had been developed over the course of the three 50+ hour campaigns that came before it.

33 Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin – 81

A character riding a

After missing out on Monster Hunter: World, Nintendo Switch owners got treated to a double dose of Capcom goodness with Monster Hunter Rise and a sequel to the Stories spin-off series. A monster collection game, Wings of Ruin features a turn-based combat system that shakes things up by including the possibility to target specific areas of a Monstie.

RELATED: Monster Hunter Stories 2: Best Tips To Level Up Fast

While the gameplay is enjoyable, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin‘s main appeal is the ability to hatch new Monsties. Although light on story compared to other JRPGs, Wings of Ruin is far more plot-driven than typical Monster Hunter games.

32 Final Fantasy 7 – 81

final fantasy 7 ps1 cloud cover and battle

An all-time classic JRPG, Final Fantasy 7 needs no introduction beyond the fact that it is available on the Nintendo Switch in all of its glory. As a PS1 game that debuted in 1997, FF7 naturally shows its age in many ways, especially in its turn-based combat. Just to be clear, the battle system is still enjoyable and works well, but it might come across as overly simplistic for people primarily familiar with modern JRPGs.

Nevertheless, FF7 is still a must-play game with a fantastic story, unforgettable characters, and a splendid setting that Square Enix loves to revisit.

31 Rune Factory 4 Special – 81

Rune Factory 4 Special battle

Typically, when people consider JRPGs, they imagine turn-based gameplay and an epic world-saving plot. While those types of games make up large chunks of the subgenre, JRPGs still come in many shapes and sizes. Rune Factory 4 Special is a farming simulator with a side helping of dungeon crawling, love and romance, and a plot that is there but tries to not distract players.

On the surface, this might seem like a messy hodgepodge of genres and ideas, but Rune Factory has a history of balancing out its concepts to create a satisfying overall package. Rune Factory 4 Special is a relaxing delight, a JRPG that frees players to become a part of a charming kingdom while occasionally swatting monsters on the head with a sword.

30 Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore – 81

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore battle

This bizarre Wii U mash-up of Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem was ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2020, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is still a difficult game to pin down. While Fire Emblem fans will get a kick out of seeing familiar faces from the franchise, this crossover is more likely to hit home with those looking for a lighthearted Shin Megami Tensei experience.

RELATED: Best Shin Megami Tensei Games (According To Metacritic)

The turn-based combat isn’t far removed from the Persona games, although the Fire Emblem influence does add a few twists to the formula. Once the console’s time comes to an end, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore will probably not be Atlus’ best JRPG on the Switch, but it is worth picking up for fans of the developer’s work.

29 Persona 5 Strikers – 81

Persona 5 Strikers - An Example Of An Enemy You'll Run Into During The Run Up To This Forgotten Desire

Sticking with Atlus franchises, Persona 5 Strikers is Omega Force and P-Studio’s spin-off/sequel to the PS4’s fantastic Persona 5. Despite the original game’s absence from the Nintendo Switch’s library, Persona 5 Strikers still made its way to the hybrid console, and it is a vastly different experience from its predecessor.

Taking elements from Dynasty Warriors, Persona 5 Strikers is an action JRPG that reunites the Phantom Thieves of Hearts so they can go on a cross-country adventure to take down Monarchs while defeating hundreds of enemies at a time. Turn-based actions are still possible in the middle of battle, so Strikers isn’t a full departure from Persona 5.

28 NEO: The World Ends With You – 82

Fighting enemies in Neo: The World Ends With You

After a long wait, Square Enix finally published the sequel to 2007’s The World Ends With You. NEO returns people to Shibuya to take part in the Reapers’ Game, a cutthroat contest to see who will be revived after a week of activities.

NEO‘s gameplay and aesthetic are departures from the first game, as the sequel is fully 3D and utilizes a more traditional action-oriented combat system. Battles are fun, while the story and music hit the mark.

27 Ys 8: Lacrimosa Of DANA – 82

Ys 8: Lacrimosa Of DANA

Aside from a nonsense title, the eighth entry into the Ys series has been released to relative critical acclaim. The title was a port of a PS4 release, and the developers did a solid job at keeping the game running smoothly, although it sacrificed graphical fidelity to do so. This action RPG follows much of what the series had established in past entries, albeit with a new island-based setting and secondary playable characters.

The combat is important to this series, and Ys 8provides a fluid and fun experience. The player can swap between characters freely during combat, rather than being stuck with one for the duration of combat. Its soundtrack is also incredible, adding gravity to scenarios and giving the story weight. For those in need of a modern classic, this is a good option. Few action JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch are better than Y8.

26 Ys Origin – 82

Ys Origin is a great starting point for newcomers and serves its fans well as a prequel

Release Date

October 1, 2020



Amazon Listing

Ys Origin

By coincidence, this title also managed to be one of the top JRPGs on the Nintendo Switch. Originally released on PC, this game is a prequel to the rest of the series. For fans looking to see where it all started, this game provides everything they want. New players can also benefit from starting here, although they’ll need to remember that this game has aged over the past decade.

Ys Origin is regarded by fans to be another great addition to the series, maintaining what keeps the series successful. Falcom as a developer tends to stick to its roots, and in this case, the company created a series that feels like a natural progression as time passed.

25 Sega Ages: Phantasy Star – 82

Phantasy Star screenshot

Release Date

December 13, 2018



Back during the height of the console wars, Sega needed a franchise to compete with Enix’s Dragon Quest or SquareSoft’s Final Fantasy. While they took inspiration from the setting and gameplay of both, the end result was Phantasy Star. This series saw great success in Japan and remains a part of gaming culture with Phantasy Star Online 2.

For those who want to revisit the original, starting with the Sega Ages re-release is a great option. It contains a few quality-of-life changes to make the experience feel more modern, but retains that old-school charm visually and in its soundtrack. This unique mixture of sci-fi and medieval fantasy holds up considerably well, especially compared to other classic JRPGs from the same time.

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